For the post of an Assistant Professor, the prospective candidates must
  • have a Ph.D in the relevant area
  • have three years of post-doctoral research experience (relaxable), and
  • be preferably below 35 years of age.
Recruitment at higher levels of associate and full professor also happen, though this is infrequent (1 or 2 appointments a year). This is mostly from applicants who hold the same level position either in IITs or universities or abroad. The procedure followed for recruitment is the same as that of assistant professors, except that the application material is only scrutinized by faculty who hold the same or higher position. For example, application to the associate professor position will be looked by only faculty who are associate professor or full professor.

Recruitment at lower levels of lecturers also happen. In the recent past, lecturers from the open category have not been recruited. The standing advertisement does advertise this position. It is to the discretion of the department whether they want to recruit someone at this level.

Technically, there is no age bar and no limit to the experience a candidate may have, but with increasing years of experience, candidates must be considered for correspondingly higher appointments. Though IISc has recruited faculty from 27 to 37 years old at the assistant professor level, the median age of recruitment would be around 30.

In IISc, the following procedure is mostly followed for selection. It may vary slightly in other IITs. The application has to be mailed to the chairperson of the concerned
department. Request an acknowledgment of the application, if it is not acknowledged.  Normally, departments have a faculty shortlisting committee that meets every month or two months. If passes through this stage, the application material is scrutinized by the all faculty and references are obtained from the suggested persons and additional references within the country. The candidate's application is then further discussed among a committee comprised of associate and full professors. The candidate is then invited to give a talk when he/she visits India. If that is not possible, a video conferencing (by skype etc.) is held where the candidate gives a talk as well as discusses the future research proposed. This is mandatory and the department usually does not recommend a candidate, which it has not interviewed either in person/phone/ video. If the candidate is already in India, then giving a talk and appearing before the selection committee is mandatory.

The department makes a recommendation to the Divisional Chairman and the Director to set up a selection committee. The final selection is made by this selection committee. The selection committee consists of at least two or three members (outside IISc) who are experts in the field of the candidate. The committee also consists of the department expert, departmental chairman, divisional chairman, and director. Sometimes, the committee may request to interview the candidate over video or phone.

Once the selection committee recommends the appointment, the appointment has to be formally approved by the council of IISc. This council meets every three months (i.e., four times in a calendar year; typically in March, June, September, and December). Therefore, selection committees are held usually a week before the council. The process takes 4-6 months and candidates may take up the appointment at any time of the year but within six months of the date of offer. It may be extended by a year in deserving cases.

Begin making your enquiries at least one year before you actually want to move. The time taken to acknowledge an application vary from department to department, depending on the chairperson. If this happens, find someone you may know in the department and request them to check with the chairperson of the department. After an application is acknowledged, try to arrange an informal visit with a seminar. You can indicate that you are planning a trip to India in the month of X and would be happy to give a talk/seminar at that time. In your conversation with the chairperson, state the time frame you want to join the institute. 

Normally, chairpersons will arrange your talk. Besides the talk, a visit with all faculty will also be arranged. Talk to all faculty and make your research sound interesting to them. Talk about your doctoral and postdoctoral research, your future plans and how you plan to distinguish yourself from your advisors. If possible, explain why you think you will fit into the department. Also, there is nothing wrong in stating that you have applied to more than one place and your preferences depending on the offers. 

The suggested timeline is as follows: Apply to several institutes at month X. Follow up and try to get an acknowledgment by month X+1 or X+2. Then, send an email saying that you are visiting India in X+3 month and would like to give a seminar. Try to schedule as many seminars in many institutes in that month. After the seminar, inform them you are willing to return around X+6 months, which will require them to make a quick decision. You can return after X+12 months because the institutes will give you time to join. Please note that each department in IIT/IISc receives at least around 30 to 40 applications per position. Simply applying by email and expecting a detailed response is foolhardy. Unless the applicant shows repeated interest (followed by a visit to give a seminar), it is unlikely that the application will be considered seriously.

Please note in IISc (unlike IITs), all appointments are on contract for five years with the first year as probation. This has been case for the last twenty (or more) years and has nothing to do with the recommendation of the sixth pay commission. Till now, it is also important to note no faculty has been terminated during the contract period. At the end of the five years, the faculty is asked to submit the papers. Appointments on contract at the option of IISc may be renewed for a further period, not exceeding five years. At the end of the initial period of contract or at the end of the extended period of contract if IISc decides to continue the appointment, the faculty shall be offered an option either to continue on contract for a further period, not exceeding five years each time or continue
appointment till the faculty attains retirement age.

If you want to apply to multiple departments, do so but inform both the chairmen of the departments when you are coming and giving a talk. It may be arranged in one department while faculty in the other department may attend. Joint appointments are possible but one department should be identified as the primary department.

Also look at the profiles of the department before applying. Some science departments will not recruit people with engineering background while some engineering departments will not recruit people with science backgrounds. Similarly, some engineering departments may prefer to recruit only people who work on theory or modeling (though they may claim otherwise). Check the profile of the current faculty in the department.

Some informal answers to frequently asked questions about the recruitment are given

IITs do not have divisional chairmen but deans of faculty affairs and recruitment. In some IITs, you can be recruited only as an adhoc and then the position has to be regularized against an advertisement.

Standing Advertisement for IISc faculty positions